Recently a Game of Thrones set photo of some consequence dropped. Perhaps you read about it.
In case you’ve missed it, we’ve already gone into the ways that this photo of Cersei, Margaery, and (presumably) Danaerys is probably real or not. But for today, and for the sake of our childlike excitement over the possibility, we’re going to assume that it is what it appears to be: all three characters in a scene together. Which means we need to move some people across that big ‘ol Game of Thrones map!
We know Dany’s had her eye on King’s Landing for a while, but at the end of season five she rode her dragon Drogon off to the far-flung fields of Essos. So how does she end up on the other side of the narrow sea? Well, there are a couple possibilities.
INSERT MAP HERE
From the Dothraki Sea
We don’t know exactly where Drogon flew with Danaerys at the end of season five. It could have been theoretically anywhere, but since we last see her surrounded by a Dothraki horde, she’s almost certainly somewhere in the Dothraki Sea. Problem is, that’s a vast area so, she could be close to Meereen or very far away. We know it’s in a lush, highland area we haven’t seen much of before, but we haven’t really seen enough of the geography in Essos to pin her down. But even though she could be anywhere, let’s narrow it down a bit: She’s either in the eastern portion or the western portion.
In either case, a previous photo shows Dany with Daario amongst the Khalassar (the big horde of Dothraki riders), which makes things all the more curious because Daario was last seen still in Meereen. So we have three options: One, Daario found a way to track her; two, Dany found a way to send word back to Meereen; or three, she went back herself. It seems like a return trip to Meereen is still the most likely option; she is queen there, after all, and a major part of last season was setting up her rule. It wouldn’t make a ton of sense for her to just abandon the city. In any case, Dany’s either heading out from her present location, or else heading back to Meereen. Here’s how it looks within the context of the known GoT world.
Into the West
Even with Daario comes out to the Dothraki as a personal bodyguard for Danaerys, it could be that Dany is a prisoner of the Khalassar. Perhaps the new character of Khal Jhaqo realized how much they could get by selling Dany to someone in Westeros, (perhaps the still living Lannisters). Sailing from Pentos, Dany could end up in King’s Landing a political prisoner.
However, Dothraki aren’t exactly known for this sort of thinking, as was repeatedly pointed out in Season 1. They have no interest in the Seven Kingdoms of Westeros, distrust the salt sea, and don’t trade in gold currency. But there could be another reason Dany heads west – even though she’s spent a lot of time in Meereen, her most recent memory wasn’t a pleasant one. Plus, it’s hinted that Tyrion might be well-equipped to set the city straight, and he’s still there. So maby Danaerys follows her heart – and finally takes on the Seven Kingdoms. What if she does actually win the love of another Khalassar and cross to Westeros with them as she was trying to do with her late husband, Khal Drogo (perhaps prompting the Dany/Drogo flashback scene).
So whether captive or champion, she could be moving west, and quickly.
Passing through Pentos we could also meet up with Illyrio. He’s the guy who gave Dany her dragon eggs, and who we saw plotting with Varys way back in Season 1 to usher in Dany to King’s Landing. Illyrio could also give Dany ships to cross with her new army. Just a pity Varys is no longer on the other side to greet her.